Over on Sisterhood Camp I recently interviewed Ren Valuzyte, the founder of British clothing brand, Ren London, to ask her about the beginnings of the brand, the story of her grandmother and her latest shoot in Marrakesh.
You can read the full interview over on the Sisterhood Website, here is a little snippet.
In the heat of the summer, there is nothing better than wearing soft breathable linen. Particularly if it’s cut into cool garments, that have an ethereal yet edgy quality. Enter Ren London. Ren is a London based company which launched their first hand printed linen range back in 2015. They later went on to develop a women’s wear range that embodies ease, simplicity, and wearability. All of the products are made mindfully in the UK exclusively using natural fibre fabrics.
PLEASE CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOU, AND YOUR ORIGINS IN STARTING REN LONDON?
I’ve had a bit of a mixed upbringing between Europe and the US. I now reside in London’s east end which is where I run my little textile business from. I’ve discovered my love of linen about 3 years ago and with the help of my grandmother, who spent close to 40 years working in a linen mill, I bought my first fabrics and began block printing them with simple geometric designs. As my business grew I also expanded into womens wear and now produce slow fashion pieces from linen and other ethically sourced, natural fibre fabrics.
DID YOU ALWAYS WANT TO WORK IN FASHION, OR HAS YOUR CAREER EVOLVED?
I’ve always loved clothes, but didn’t see myself in that world until I realised that I don’t have to follow a
traditional path in fashion and can just design clothing that’s accessible, beautiful and mindfully made.
HOW WAS IT TAKING THAT INITIAL STEP IN STARTING YOUR OWN BUSINESS? DID YOU HAVE A BACK UP PLAN? HOW DID EVERYONE REACT?
I left my office job in property management to pursue wood turning, which eventually led me to textiles in a very roundabout way. I just needed something, anything, to pull me out of the stagnant work environment and I’m glad I took the leap. I was quite anxious making such a big change and it certainly would’ve been a hell of a lot easier financially had I stayed on part time while pursuing creative endeavours. Then again, I also know that I’m the kind of person that needs to go all in to make something happen. Everyone was very supportive, especially my partner who continues to be my cheerleader.
YOUR LINE OF PRODUCTS ARE MADE USING NATURAL LINENS, IS THIS A CONSCIOUS CHOICE AND WHY?
Initially what drew me in was the drape and texture of the fabric and when I learned more about its amazing properties (super durable, low impact on the environment, extremely breathable, etc) coupled with my familial connection to it, it was a no brainer that this would be my first choice of textile to work with.
Read the full interview over on the Sisterhood Camp website.